The F Word

My good friend Abi wrote this blog over on the First Draft website about feedback. Having been a part of her feedback group for several years when I lived in Manchester, and having formed a small writing group here in London, I know what she means when she says, “The crash is important. The glow of receiving praise is all well and good, but it’s the crash that makes me a better writer.”

The importance of having rough feedback session, and understanding where you’ve gone wrong, and coming back from that (that’s the important part) is the kind of siege perilous that every writer needs to go through. I’ve had several really, really tough feedback sessions (especially from the group that Abi was a part of) and yet, it never ever felt as though I was being attacked. There is, in a good writing group and a strong feedback session, an understanding between all of the writers that they want to be better and they want everyone else to be better.

That can be a really hard thing to find and I’m lucky to have found it once in Manchester, and again here in London.

What about you writers, have you got a group like this? Or have you got someone you trust implicitly for feedback?

Let me know in the comments!

First Draft

Writer and First Draft’s producer Abi Hynes blogs about the art of giving and receiving feedback.

I never used to be any good at getting feedback.

If you make creative work of any sort, you might recognise how it usually goes for me. I write something. For a first draft, it comes from this intangible, murky centre of myself, with very little intervention from my critical brain. It spills out onto the page, and I step back and admire its mysterious power. I don’t want to look at it too closely – to ask too many questions about which parts of it work (or don’t work), and why. I don’t want to break the spell.

But I know I have to. Sometimes I might tackle a second, a third, even a fourth draft on my own, trying to be objective, trying to hone and tighten and improve. But at some…

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